Yoooh!!! I actually don’t know where to start from because I am too excited to finally be part of the Lemelson MUBAS-RICE 360 internship program. This is a dream come true for me because I feel this a stepping stone for me to achieve my goals as a biomedical engineer. Oooh! I forgot to introduce myself since this is my first ever blog and I can’t wait to share my first week’s experience, My name is Cletia Nsambo and I am studying biomedical engineering and I am currently in my fourth year.
On the first day, we started our session around 9AM. The first part was an introduction by Will Moyo, who also introduced us to our teaching assistants (TAs) Chikumbutso Walani and Brenald Dzonzi. We then had an exercise where everyone introduced themselves and had to tell the group their goals and how the internship program will help them in the long run. This session made me realize that we may have “different” goals but at the end of the day it is of a common good. Later in the day we were then split into four teams and we were asked to come up with a name for our group and a team contract. My teammates are Clement and Emmanuel and our name is MAISHA which means LIFE in Swahili and the projects we were given are a training kit which every group had to do, an oxygen analyzer, the developing project and finally the Nebulizer.
Wednesday, the second day, Will introduced us to the Engineering Design Process which is very important to us designers as we are coming up with the solutions to different problems we are trying to solve since most designers start from the solution not exactly knowing the problem being solved. We started with the clarifying team assignment, in this stage of the EDP we try to understand the problem. We came up with different questions that will help us understand the problems at hand for our projects. Later in the afternoon we had an exercise where we had to come up with the problem we are trying to solve and the impact of the problem, explore how other people have solved the problem and also the stakeholders of the projects. We had to produce a write up and a presentation for all three projects in 2 hours and this was a hustle for me and my teammates and probably the rest of the group. Our TAs were nice to us and had us present it the next day.
Thursday, in the morning we had our presentations on the previous task and Brenald, one of the TAs gave us feedback on the presentation and also highlighted were we need to improve and acknowledge where there was good work. This was a good this since it is one way of improving our presentation skills. Later in the afternoon we now had an exercise which was done to help us come up with good problem statements and also how to ask questions to our clients.
Last day of the week, Friday, the first task of the day was to come up with questions that we had for our TAs to help us understand the projects we were given after that all groups had a chance to ask the TAs the questions they had and this was an interesting session for me since I got to understand the projects that other people are doing and also to hear people’s views on different situations. After lunch we continued with the questions and the we were given another presentation just to help us understand the problem. At this point I was like why are they asking us to do another presentation but then realized it is a way of training us to be good presenters. the TAs gave their observations on the presentation and this is to perfect our presentation skills. The phrase of the day “you have to engage with your audience!” by Chiku.
Overall, I have had a great week, great experience. I loved meeting new people, learning new things from everyone and also getting to share ideas with great minds! And also not forgetting Tea Time wa zitumbuwa!